The Pittsburgh Pirates have stunned most of baseball, their own fan base included, by finding their way into the 2013 MLB postseason. But as meaningful as their playoff berth is to their fans and the city of Pittsburgh, it would mean exponentially more if the Pirates were able to win the World Series.
Few fan bases understand the frustration and disappointment that Pirate fans have felt for quite some time, and a World Series victory for the Pirates in 2013 would mean an explosion of joy and the unleashing of more than two decades worth of frustration.
Winning the World Series this year wouldn’t necessarily make fans forget the way the team has been run for the past two decades or the utter failure the organization has endured year after year, but it would make the fans a little more forgiving for the profound struggles of the team and a front office that did little to change that year after year.
The Pirates haven’t been able to keep many of their star players or lure a lot of big-time free agents to Pittsburgh, but when they finally put together a core that could compete, they went for it, which is what they’ve done in 2013. With home-grown players like Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen in place, the Pirates had a team that could be competitive and end their string of losing seasons.
Knowing they had a chance for something special, Pittsburgh went out and acquired Justin Morneau, Marlon Byrd and John Buck, giving them a better chance to compete in the postseason. That showed that they were serious about taking their chance when it finally came to them, and in a way compensated for all the years of losing.
Winning a World Series this year may not completely make up for 20 years of losing, but it would come close. If nothing else, it would be the culmination of 20 years of hard work and disappointment from trying to turn a small-market team into a competitor. One thing is for sure: if the Pirates win the World Series in 2013, it would have been worth the wait.